TJ's Gym Weekly News 05/09/2019



We’ve got some pretty spectacular athletes in our community, but what I love is how willing they all are to work the fundamentals and generally provide great energy and support for the rest of us.


Message from TJ:


A few years ago Rick (name changed) sticks his head in my office. He asks how the girls and Allison are, and I check in on his family. He tells me with excitement about the new nutrition program he's found. It's completely addressing his personal needs and has some really cool components about which he encourages me to learn. This plan is the one. It's perfect.

I've known Rick for ten years. He's been in the gym consistently and has consistently lost and regained ten pounds. Those ten represent a lot to Rick. They represent his happiness, his self worth, and his drive for control. Something we can all relate to.     

I congratulate Rick on his how happy he seems to be and ask him to update me in a month.

I look into Rick's program and find a slick, well marketed, well intentioned program with lots of cool add-on's and colors and an app and quotes from philosophers, famous athletes, and political figures about the human condition and what it takes to succeed. All very cool.

Once again, Rick loses the weight, and once again he gains it back. 

The plan to lose weight always works, even if it's different this time around. It's a guarantee, a lock, a sure thing. Rick might be struggling with other things like lifestyle, sleep, depression, etc. But one thing is for sure. Rick is an expert at losing ten pounds. He's done it a dozen times.

Malcolm Gladwell has spoken about the realities of how things happen. He uses data and to expose myths about how things come to be. He's a master of explaining the past and how it will, most likely, predict the future.

One of my favorite stories is about the NFL Draft. Year after year, teams who are are the top of the draft--usually crappy ones--have their names splashed across the headlines for the weeks preceding the event. Who are they going to take? Are those players worth it? Will they try to move up to take who they want?  

An entire industry has been built around the draft. It's full of prognosticators, bloggers, and content creators. Hundreds of millions of advertising revenue is generated. The hype is unbelievable, circling around which players which teams will pick in the first round.

This year, the draft was held in Nashville, and 600,000 people filled the surrounding city blocks, standing and watching the mammoth stage or huge flat screens to be part of the spectacle, in the rain no less.

The draft is built to support the worst teams and to prevent the same teams from winning every year. Worst teams pick first.  

Economist Richard Thaler researched the draft, specifically focusing on the most successful post-season team in NFL history, the New England Patriots.  

What Thaler discovered is that, without a doubt, second and third round players not only have more economic value for a team but also with regard to output and production, compared to first-round picks. Number of snaps on the field compared to being injured, quality of play at their position, etc. It's a proven fact.

Thaler also talks about how, for well over a decade, the Patriots have traded their first-round pick for more second and third-round picks. Whenever they make a trade, it's always to gain even more later round picks, because, you know, facts.

Last year, the Raiders traded their star linebacker, Khalil Mack, and were soundly ridiculed around the league because they got nothing but draft picks. Mack went on to have a hall-of-fame type season.

With all that being said, at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference held in March every year, the Raiders were awarded the prize for best transaction. 

“Everybody else thought it was a terrible trade, but draft picks are very valuable,” conference founder, Daryl Morey, said. “Analytics tend to fly in the face of popular convention pretty often. We don’t care about what people say.”

Every team knows these facts. Every team knows that the Patriots are the best team of the modern era. Nobody uses the draft like the Patriots.  

So why doesn't everyone use their draft picks correctly?

There is a theory in psychology called "Amnesia of Rationality in a Crowd." The example is that a perfectly normal grandmother would never become so irate that she would throw a rock through a window. Put that grandmother in a riot, and there is a much better chance of that rock being thrown through the window.

Your team has been terrible for years. You have the number-one pick in the draft. For months, newspapers, radio, and TV hosts have been hoisting your logo up on the screens and talking about you. What are you going to do? Who are you going to pick? Tens of thousands of your fans travel to far-away cities, wearing your team colors and face paint, chugging hundreds of ounces of lite beer, screaming your team's stadium chants. Blogger and Twitter heroes are poised on their keyboards, and the experts are ready to either celebrate you or denounce your decision. You've spent weeks in press conferences and on television trying to not say anything of value but still provide storytelling that will eventually put butts in seats.

On draft day, the anticipation is at a breaking point, and the NFL commissioner walks up to the podium. The city has fallen silent, and he holds up his card and reads "With the first pick of the 2019 NFL draft, the Portland Weedsmokers have traded their pick for two second-round and two-third round picks."

There is another beat of silence before the explosion of boos and the reverberation of thousands of televisions being smashed to pieces as Weedsmoker fans go berserk.  The pundits can't believe it. The fans can't believe it. The experts are agog.  

You made the best, most data-supported, damn-near-guarantee-to-make-your-team-better, decision.

But, you don't do that. You take the easy route. You pick the shiny new sports car with all the bells and whistles. It's got name recognition, it's got glitz, it's got endorsements. You are universally adored, and you sleep great that night.

Fast forward 12 months.

"With the first pick of the 2020 NFL draft the Portland Weedsmokers select the Lamborghini, all-wheel-drive, boomin' sound system, and seats made from Himalayan sheepskin, because ESPN said he's the number one guy."

In other words, you finished last again.

We aren't trying to figure out how to lose ten pounds or how to be fitter. We know that already. We have the data. We've had it for a while now.

We are actually trying to figure out why we don't do it or keep doing it. Why do we need an app or tracking system or inspirational quotes or cool gizmos or a crowd or to be alone to get it done?

We all suffer from FOMO, or the constant search for control, or the distraction of the latest-and-greatest, but really it's just simple data.  

The data show time and time again how to be a winner. I'd love to help you be more data driven. 



registration IS OPEN FOR our NEXT youth fitness SESSION, WHICH STARTS ON MONDAY, MAY 13TH.

See our full youth schedule below. Additional times available upon request.

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Corte Madera Teens (ages 12-16): Mondays / Wednesdays / Fridays 4-5pm*

*M/W/F are our more advanced teens

Corte Madera Teens Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:30 ages 13-15

Corte Madera Tweens Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:30-5:30 ages 9-12

Corte Madera Teens (ages 12-16): Saturdays 11am

San Rafael Teens (ages 12-16): Tuesdays/Thursdays* 4-5pm

Mill Valley Teens (ages 12-16): Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-5:00pm

Mill Valley Teens (ages 12 - 16) Wednesdays 4 pm

Corte Madera Kids (ages 4 - 6) Sundays 10:30 - 11:00 am

Corte Madera Kids (7 - 9) Sundays 11:05 - 11:50 am

Running Strong new phase started on Tuesday 04/15!

Join any time with our new flexible membership options!

Email with any questions.

Program Foundations:    •Injury prevention/Consistency   •Efficiency/Muscular Power  •Longevity/Health

Program Foundations:

•Injury prevention/Consistency

•Efficiency/Muscular Power



Coach Nick describes the changes coming to our Running Strong Program!


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JOIN US IN THROW-HANDS Boxing for teen girls!

Email with questions. We prorate for mid-session starts, so join any time!

TEEN SUMMER FITNESS! Check out our specialized programs for sports teams.

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our legends CONTINUE TO INSPIRE US! Spread the word to your friends and family ages 60+.


We’d like to get as many 60+ year-olds in Marin moving as possible! Athletes can join at any time; we pro-rate based on start days.

We’d like to get as many 60+ year-olds in Marin moving as possible! Athletes can join at any time; we pro-rate based on start days.

You can always find updated announcements AND WEEKLY WORKOUTS on our HOME PAGE.